An excerpt from Blue Like Jazz. Something I think all church leadership should read.

Like most guys, I fear commitment, and that is probably why I don’t read books. I feel like if I start something, then I have to finish it, even if it stinks. This is something I’m trying to over-come, and I’m trying my darndest to finish Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I actually really like most of this book, and so far I’m on page 140 and the book has 242 pages.

Like most guys, I do a lot of reading on the pot. Today I came across a great section of the book that I would like to share, found on pages 131-132.

And yet another thing about the churches I went to: They seemed to be parrots for the Republican Party. Do we have to tow the party line on every single issue. Are the Republicans that perfect? I just felt like, in order to be part of the church family, had to think George W. Bush was Jesus. And I didn’t. I didn’t think that Jesus really agreed with a lot of the policies of the Republican Party or for that matter the Democratic Party. I felt like Jesus was a religious figure, not a political figure. I heard my pastor say once, when there were only a few of us standing around, that he hated Bill Clinton. I can understand not liking Clinton’s policies, but I wanted my spirituality to rid me of hate, not give me a reason for it. I couldn’t deal with that. That is one of the main reasons I walked away. I felt like, by going to this particular church, I was a pawn for the Republicans. Meanwhile, the Republicans did not give a crap about the causes of Christ.

Only one more thing bugged me, then I will shut up about it. War metaphor. The churches I attended would embrace war metaphor. They would talk about how we are in a battle, and I agreed with them, only they wouldn’t clarify that we were battling poverty and hate and injustice and pride and the powers of darkness. They left us thinking that our war was against liberals and homosexuals. Their teaching would have me believe I was the good person in the world and the liberals were the bad people in the world. The truth is we are supposed to love the hippies, the liberals, and even the Democrats, and that God wants us to think of them as more important than ourselves. Anything short of this is not true to the teachings of Jesus.

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